Boosting economic, trade and investment cooperation with Saudi Arabia is a priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy for the region, said President Nguyen Minh Triet.

The State leader made the affirmation while receiving a delegation of the Council of Saudi Arabian Chambers of Commerce in Hanoi on May 28.

President Triet expressed his belief that the visit will provide the Saudi Arabian business community with more useful information about Vietnam’s potential in economic, trade and investment cooperation.

He affirmed that Vietnam highly rates Saudi Arabia’s position in the region and the world.

President Triet asked the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Council of Saudi Arabian Chambers of Commerce to set up a joint council to facilitate cooperation between their businesses, contributing to boosting relations between the two countries.

The Saudi Arabian business delegation said President Triet’s visit to Saudi Arabia last April was an important landmark in bilateral ties, adding their trip to Vietnam was prompted by the Vietnamese president’s speech at the Vietnam-Saudi Arabia business forum.

The guests briefed President Triet about their working sessions with relevant ministries of Vietnam and stressed opportunities for cooperation in agriculture, tourism, oil and gas and labour.

They praised Vietnamese labourers working in Saudi Arabia for their sense of responsibility and expressed wish that the two countries would expand labour export. At present, there are about 15,000-20,000 Vietnamese labourers working Saudi Arabia, while the country receives between 70,000-80,000 foreign workers a month.

The Saudi Arabian businessmen said there are still obstacles to economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, citing a lack of direct air route between the two countries. Visa to Vietnam is also a hurdle for Saudi Arabian businesspeople and tourists.

They also asked Vietnam to provide its labourers with knowledge on the culture and customs of the host country./.